Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Never Trust a Crowd!

1 Crowd - 2 Outcomes

"But even so, Paul and Barnabas could scarcely restrain the people from sacrificing to them.  Now some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the crowds into a murderous mob. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, apparently dead" (Acts 14:18-19).

You can't trust the crowd!  When they are cheering, when they are applauding, when they are loving and gracious--you can't trust the crowd!  I'm tempted to trust the crowd. I want their love and I want their praise.  It feels really good to be accepted and honored.  But I know that I can't trust them.

Paul and Barnabas had healed a man who couldn't walk and the observing crowd immediately concluded that Paul and Barnabas were gods worthy of great sacrifice and honor.  Just one verse later, the crowd is trying to kill Paul and Barnabas.  Conclusion? You can't trust the crowd!

Jesus didn't trust the crowd!  In John 2:23-25, the crowd had begun to love Jesus because of the miracles that he was doing.  "But Jesus didn't trust them, because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like" (v23-25).  Sure enough, later, we see the crowd giving Jesus a parade in Matthew 21 to begin passion week--only to crucify him by the end of the same week. Never trust a crowd!

Though I'm certainly not Jesus, Paul, or Barnabas, I am quite familiar with the ability of a crowd to quickly turn.  I've tasted the sting of betrayal by friends and coworkers--sheep for whom I've provided care.  Maybe we all have?  Never trust a crowd!

So if we can't trust the crowd, who can we trust? "This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I TRUST HIM" (Psalm 91:2).

Monday, December 09, 2013

Turning 50

December 9, 2013 . . .

Today I turn 50 . . .

For those of you who are older, you can relate to the milestone and with a slight smile on your face you recognizing the brevity of 50 and the future milestones to follow...60...70...

For those who are younger, I doubt that you can appreciate the significance of 50--the number seems very old to me.

So much has happened in these five decades--the movie of my life even now plays out in my mind....childhood events, my teenage years, high school, college, marriage, children, a dozen different jobs...each generality brings vivid remembrances: good, bad, neither and both!

My life at 50 is nothing that I had imagined.  I'm not as successful, not as healthy, and not as stable as I would have liked.  That being said, my life is so much better than I ever thought it could be.

The bride of my youth has now been by my side for some twenty-eight years of marriage.  We are now thriving together in a way that we never experienced in our youth. Tina is my delight!

My two sons are godly, growing, and gifted!  I've held my breath so many times as youthful decisions were lived out--and yet today Jaren and Zachery are so very good!  I am pleased!

My life's work, my ministry, my mission is more clearly lived out, more authentic, and more effective than at any point in my 50 years.  Thanks to all of those who have allowed me to practice on them:
--Youth Choir Tours with FBC, Seymour, Tennessee.
--Baptist Student Union at Union University, Jackson, Tennessee.
--Summer Youth Worker at First Baptist Church, Camden, Tennessee.
--WJAK Radio in Jackson, Tennessee.
--KWAS Radio and Z93 Radio in Amarillo, Texas.
--Teaching Junior High Youth Sunday School at Coulter Road Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas.
--The honor of pastoring my first church--Cliffside Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas.
--Youth Ministry at Olsen Park Baptist Church (Now LifeWay Baptist), Amarillo, Texas.
--Youth Ministry at First Baptist Church, Monterey, Tennessee.
--My first full-time pastorate at First Baptist Church, Lipan, Texas.
--Mission trips & Revival Teams through Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.
--Leadership opportunities through Paluxy Baptist Association, Granbury, Texas.
--10 great years at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Windsor, Colorado.
--Leadership opportunities at Colorado Baptist General Convention & Southern Baptist Convention.
--and the reflection of my heart: Grace River Church, Windsor, Colorado

My influences and partners are many, family and friends.  I am so very thankful for...my high school roommates at HCBA: David Short, John Williamson, Pat Keebler, and Tim Minter. Thanks to Mr. Casey for being my dad and to Fred for being my big brother at HCBA. Dr. Smothers cared enough to write a note asking the president of Union to keep an eye on me and help in every way possible.  My dear friend Rose Snider got me interested in ministry at Union and served with me in off-campus ministries. Bruce Pique has been a true friend.  Dr. John Adams allowed me to serve on campus revival teams and gave me money for gas. Chuck Maxwell got me into radio.  Thanks to Ron Haney for being my good friend at WJAK.  Thanks to 80-year-old Deacon Marion who walked the streets of the Cliffside community with me inviting people to church.  Pastor D.M. Newton took me under his wing and taught me how to pastor.  Richard Holloman has been a true friend and mentor through the years. David Peacock is my friend and my first son in the ministry.  I love Larry Rainy's great big heart!  Gary Clyma didn't give up on me when I was down. Martin Castro very likely saved my life. Tom Pals and my dear friend Ken Datson gave me a new perspective on how to live.  Amy Fulton and Steve Ramsey carried me when I couldn't walk.  My friends and family at Grace River are a God-send--a safe place where I can come as I am and find hope and healing.

And of course, I am surrounded by family: Tina, Jaren & Jillian (and now Abigail), Zachery, my mom and dad, grandparents, the Kinsey's, Sandra, Cindy, and Mike, cousins, nephews and nieces.

Thanks to all of you for making me who I am!

50 down....and the best fifty yet to come!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Wounded Women of the Bible

I'm so very proud of my wife Tina Kinsey Samples! Pre-orders are underway for her new book Wounded Women of the Bible with the release to be officially July 1.  I can't wait.  Pre-orders are discounted by 33% at Amazon if you want to pre-order a copy.  It includes Bible study in the back of the book for your small group. If you live in Northern Colorado, Tina would love to come and lead your first session. Just let her know: www.tinasamples.com.  Here is the link to Amazon: Amazon

Saturday, March 09, 2013

My Most Popular Blog!

Since the beginning of this blog, I have written on a great many subjects and ideas.  It's interesting to me that the most popular thing I've written by far is this:


This particular blog article has been read more than 1400 times! I'm sure it will get a few more now since I'm promoting it. :)

Friday, March 08, 2013

The HIGH Cost of HIGH School

Well the early numbers are in and it appears that since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado . . . wait for it . . . MORE KIDS ARE GETTING HIGH! 

Read the news report here from Denver's CBS4:  http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/03/06/drug-testing-company-sees-spike-in-children-using-marijuana/

Of course. Who could possibly be surprised? Let's make it easier to access pot and then pretend that usage will not increase?

Here's the problem. #1--If kids are high while in school, then they are not learning anything. #2--If these kids are driving themselves to and from school, then they are driving while impaired and risk a DUI or worse, a fatality--theirs or someone else's.  Have you seen the car accident stats for teens? It ain't great!  Let's add pot to the mix and see what happens.  #3--We already had a drug problem in our schools and it's not getting any better.

Anyone have a thought on a solution?

Thursday, March 07, 2013


I'm not a writer.  I don't like to write.  I don't ever like to write. I would rather do almost anything to keep from writing.  I'm a speaker, a teacher, a preacher . . . but not a writer.  The problem is that I've got ideas, and some of them are good.  One of the best ways to communicate ideas, beyond my little world, is to write them down and send them out.  And so I write. And I don't much like it.  You would laugh to see me write. I speak out loud and then write it down.  I read out loud back to myself and then edit whatever I've written.  That's another obstacle to good writing. I spend too much time editing and not enough time writing.  I wouldn't bring it up except that Tina and I are working on a book together and books require writing.--lots of writing.  Tina is a writer. She loves to write. She writes and then says whatever she wrote. That's very different from me.  I write what I speak. She speaks what she writes. We couldn't be more different.  lol  Someday, you may own a copy of my book. It will likely be available in the discount bin. When you read it, do me a favor and read it out loud, because that's how it will have been written.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Has anyone else been sick? I guess I've had the flu...not sure.  I came down with something a little over a week ago and I'm still not 100%.  This stuff is bad!  I ended up missing church last Sunday and everything else scheduled for the week.

I'm rereading the Hobbit--first read it in high school.  I love the story and have quckly gotten lost in the adventure.  I guess I'll read the trilogy next (again) and experience the adventure.

Good News concerning Tina's upcoming book, WOUNDED WOMEN OF THE BIBLE. A release date has been announce by the publisher (Kregel Publishing) for July 1, 2013. Presales should begin in April.  We're very excited to have this very first book released.

Zach has been accepted into Grand Canyon University in Phoenix for the Fall.  We're praying for mucho scholarships to pay for it.

My dad was supposed to be here to visit this weekend but we had to postpone because illness both in our house and in his own.  As it turns out, he had a minor accident yesterday and was hit by a drunk driver. He wasn't hurt but his vehicle will take a few weeks of repair.


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Daily Grace

Did you know that I write a daily devotion? It's called Daily Grace and you can read it here: http://dailygracedevotion.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Zombies in the Bible

I'm teaching a Men's Bible Study tonight on the topic of ZOMBIES IN THE BIBLE.    I'm teaching from the following ZOMBIE passages about the living dead and about the true resurrection life that is given to us through Jesus Christ.

Zecheriah 14:12 - "And the Lord will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem.  Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will shrivel in their sockets, and their tongues will decay in their mouths. On that day they will be terified, stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will fight against each other in hand-to-hand combat." (NLT)

Revelation 11:3-13 - "And their dead bodies will lie in the street...but after three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet" (NASB)

Revelation 20:11-15 - "And I saw the dead, the grat and the small, standing before the throne..."

Matthew 27:50-53 - "The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many."

Ezekiel 37:1-14 - "There was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them . . . and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army"

Ephesians 2:1-10 - "And you were dead..."

Videos of Interest:




Thursday, January 03, 2013

What We Do Together

Grace River Members . . .
M-eet together weekly
E-xperience prayer daily
M-inister with our gifts
B-ask, bathe, and bury ourselves in the Bible
E-xtend God's kingdom by bringing friends and family
R-esource God's church with our tithes and offerings
S-ense the supernatural activity of God